Washington DC: India and the United States on Tuesday held bilateral talks on a wide range of issues, including measures to bolster economic and trade ties between both the countries.
In a joint statement issued after the third major bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama, the leaders highlighted the strong and expanding economic relationship between the United States and India and committed to support sustainable, inclusive, and robust economic growth, and common efforts to stimulate consumer demand, job creation, skill development and innovation in their respective countries.
In order to substantially increase bilateral trade, they pledged to explore new opportunities to break down barriers to the movement of goods and services, and support deeper integration into global supply chains, thereby creating jobs and generating prosperity in both economies.
Both sides said that they would look forward to the second annual Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in India later this year to identify concrete steps in this regard. They also commended the increased engagement on trade and investment issues under the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) and encouraged substantive results for the next TPF later this year. They welcomed the engagement of U.S. private sector companies in India's Smart City program.
The leaders applauded the strong bonds of friendship between the 1.5 billion peoples of India and the United States that have provided a solid foundation for a flourishing bilateral partnership, noting that two-way travel for tourism, business, and education has seen unprecedented growth, including more than one million travelers from India to the United States in 2015, and similar number from the United States to India.
The leaders resolved to facilitate greater movement of professionals, investors and business travelers, students, and exchange visitors between their countries to enhance people-to-people contact as well as their economic and technological partnership. To this end, they welcomed the signing of an MOU for Development of an International Expedited Traveler Initiative (also known as the Global Entry Program) and resolved to complete within the next three months the procedures for India's entry into the Global Entry Program.
The leaders recognized the fruitful exchanges in August 2015 and June 2016 on the elements required in both countries to pursue a U.S.-India Totalization Agreement and resolved to continue discussions later this year.
Recognizing the importance of fostering an enabling environment for innovation and empowering entrepreneurs, the United States welcomes India's hosting of the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
The leaders welcomed the enhanced engagement on intellectual property rights under the High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property and reaffirmed their commitment to use this dialogue to continue to make concrete progress on IPR issues by working to enhance bilateral cooperation among the drivers of innovation and creativity in both countries.
The United States also welcomed India's interest in joining the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, as India is a dynamic part of the Asian economy.